Bethany's Readers' Advisory

The place to go for readers' advisory on books for children, teens, and adults

Insurgent by Veronica Roth January 29, 2013

InsurgentIn the aftermath of destruction, Tris is struggling to reconcile what she did, where she came from, and where she’s going. Everyone must decide who to trust and as they slowly discover where loyalties lie.  Tris’ feelings of guilt make it hard for her to concentrate on survival, while others decide whether she’s a leader or a traitor. Values, beliefs, and relationships are put to the test in the second book of the Divergent series.

As often happens to the second book in a trilogy, this book seemed to drag on and frustrated me over and over. I will read the next book when it comes out and hope that it renews my enjoyment of the series.

3 out of 5 stars



The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton January 17, 2013

Secret KeeperIn 1961, when Laurel was sixteen years old, she witnessed her mother commit a crime. Fifty years later, in 2011, Laurel comes back to town for her mother’s 90th birthday and sees a photograph of her mother as a young woman with a friend named Vivien.  What follows is Laurel’s search for the truth of what happened that day.  As she finds out more about her mother’s past, she realizes that she is not the only one whose teenage dreams led her down a different path in life.  Told in flashbacks between her mother’s experiences in World War II London and the current time, a mystery unravels and long-kept secrets are revealed.

This is an exciting historical fiction/mystery. Two plot twists kept me guessing until the very end.  I really enjoyed the story and stayed up late to find out the answers to Laurel’s questions. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys family dramas, World War II era stories, or mysteries.

5 out of 5 stars


Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

Maniac MageeNo one is sure who was the first to call him Maniac.  He just appeared in town one day.  After Jeffrey Magee’s parents died in a trolly crash, he started running and didn’t stop until he arrived in Two Mills.  Along his path to finding a real home, Jeffrey meets Amanda, a book-loving girl his age, an elderly former baseball star named Grayson, the wild McNab family, and a boy nicknamed Mars Bar.  In a time when blacks and whites were separate, Maniac Magee is able see past the gap between the two sides of town and bring happiness to people he meets along the way.

This is a heartwarming story about a boy desperate to find his place in the world.  It takes place during a time when segregation was still in existence, yet Jeffrey remains colorblind and innocent to the racial tension around him.  I would recommend this to upper elementary students, especially boys, for Jeffrey’s adventurous spirit and athletic abilities.

1991 Newbery Medal Winner

5 out of 5 stars


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